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A team of researchers accidentally discovered what could be the oldest known copy of a gospel in existence.
The scientists were looking at a papyrus wrapped mummy mask when they discovered a piece of the Gospel of Mark. The papyrus dates back to around 90 A.D., at least 10 years older than any previously found Biblical gospel text.
The Smithsonian said that the mummy mask for the average person turned into a mummy was recycled material like papyrus. The classic image of ancient mummies with jewels and golden sarcophagi was only for the wealthy.
The research team will be using a method to unglue papyrus that will keep smearing the ink.
“We’re recovering ancient documents from the first, second and third centuries,” Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, told Live Science.
Evans said that the mummy mask’s text could show that the Gospel of Mark has been changed over time by multiple translations.